Welcome back students! Can you believe summer is over? As the children flood back to the streets and sidewalks it is important for everyone to keep safety in mind, whether you are walking, driving or taking transit.
Making the new rapidways more welcoming to pedestrians continues to be a top priority, and that includes ensuring that pedestrians feel safe and secure while crossing Highway 7 and in the future on Davis Drive. We know from your feedback that you’re already enjoying the protected waiting areas built into the medians, and you’ve become familiar with the two-stage crossing at crosswalks that’s been in place for much of the construction period. But in case you don’t know how it works, here’s a reminder of how to cross the rapidway safely to get to the new vivastations.
With its new wider overall alignment to incorporate the two rapidway lanes and median stations, the crosswalks across Highway 7 East are longer than they used to be. To enhance the safety of pedestrians, a two-stage crossing is recommended. Lights are timed to give enough time for the average pedestrian to cross to or from a median vivastation. For people going all the way across the road, the light will allow them to cross to the protected median and wait for the next pedestrian signal. Remember, if you want to take the local YRT bus, you still catch those curb side, because they stop more frequently than Viva.
In addition to watching the lights, once the system is fully operational, pedestrians will hear an audible signal indicating whether they should “walk” or “wait,” and for people with visual impairments, the signals are equipped with a locator sound that direct people to the push button. The locator signal has a detection system that enables it to automatically adjust its volume depending on the ambient sound levels, so it’s always audible.
Remember that the pedestrian signal is only activated once the button is pushed; it will not automatically be activated as part of the through-traffic phase. Pedestrians cannot proceed to cross until they get the visual and audible signals that it’s safe to go. It’s important that pedestrians check for left turning cars before stepping out onto the roadway.
Crosswalks are wider than usual to provide more space for pedestrians, and clearly marked in white.
With new residential and employment development all along the corridor, and more and more people using the new rapid transit system, Highway 7 East is seeing an increasing number of pedestrians. As they are only one of the priority user groups of the Highway 7 corridor, pedestrians need to be aware of their busy surroundings and stay safe while they enjoy all the new amenities. Whether you live, work or play in the area, we hope you check it out soon!